In the United States alone, student debt from federal loans reached one trillion dollars at the end of 2011 (Chopra). This is not surprising, considering that seventy percent of people who graduate from college graduate with a lump sum of debt. Student debt is an epidemic in today's society. The rising cost of attending a college or university is one explanation of why student debt is so high. In the past five years, college tuition has increased an average of twenty-four percent (Best). This pattern is not coming to a halt any time soon. Tuition has continually increased an average of six percent each year (Bollag). With these increases taken into account, it is estimated that a public university will cost about one-hundred forty-three thousand dollars by the year 2023. The amount of money needed to obtain a degree makes it almost impossible for many to have the capability to afford one. The higher the cost of a university, the more money the borrower will have to be repay in interest. .
Interest rates have dramatically increased over the last decade. It was estimated that the rate of interest on student loans has increased 1.23 percent from the 2013 and 2014 school year to the 2014 and 2015 school year (Chopra). The interest that is attached to loans adds thousands of more dollars to the debt that borrowers already owe for the loans themselves. In order to dispute the conflicts that student loans impose on many, President Barack Obama proposed a loan forgiveness program, Pay as You Earn, that would affect thousands of people (Lavelle). Pay as You Earn would cap the interest of student loans at ten percent. Although this seems high, many private loans have interest rates that are higher than this. In addition, debt would be forgiven if all payments on the loan are made on time and in full. If this bill is passed through Congress, thousands would be released from the chokehold that student debt has on them.